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Black History Month 2023

Explore Black History Month at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Look for book displays, resources and programs happening in our branches and community this February and beyond!

Black History Month began as a week-long observance in 1926 founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, an American historian, author, journalist and founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. It was originally observed the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. What began as a celebration of Black accomplishments in history has grown into an annual tradition and prompted widespread discussion on the Black experience.

Featured Artwork: Ashanté Josey. Undefeated, detail. Digital.


Reading Resources and Book Lists

More Library Resources

Programs & Events

Special Events

American Sirens: The Incredible True Story of the Black Men Who Became America’s First Paramedics Book Talk: Join us for a discussion with author Kevin Hazzard and Freedom House Paramedics John Moon Mitchell Brown and Bill Raynovich as they discuss the history and importance of the  of the Freedom House ambulance service, founded in the Hill District in 1967. Registration strongly encouraged. First 45 registrants will receive copies of the book.

Location: CLP-Hill District, February 1st, 5:30 pm-7:00 pm

Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse Presents Sculpture Art: Learn, explore and create with Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse and the Library in a sculpture art activity celebrating Black History Month. All upcylced materials will be provided. Recommended for children in grades K-5 and their caregivers.

Location: CLP-Beechview, Saturday, February 4th, 2:00 pm-4:00 pm

Art as Self Care and Resistance With Juliandra Jones: Join artist and arts educator Juliandra Jones for this adult workshop on art as self-care.

Locations:

Art as Black Resistance With Cue Perry: This workshop for children in grades K-5 will be led by artist and arts educator Cue Perry and will focus on art as a form of Black resistance throughout history.

Locations:

Attack Theater Dance Workshop: Attack Theater’s arts education program connects with students through the power of creative play. Rooted in reflection, investigation and imagination, these programs emphasize creative learning and wellness. At the core of each program, dance and movement support kinesthetic strategies to develop critical thinking, encourage collaboration, strengthen communication and nuture creativity.

Location: CLP-Homewood, Tuesday, February 21st, 4:00 pm-5:30 pm

Visit our events page to learn more about special programs happening near you this February.

Storytime:

Throughout the month of February, join us for storytime, where we will celebrate Black families and promote Black joy through stories and songs.

Just like the in-person storytimes, February’s Virtual Storytime will celebrate Black Families and promote Black joy.

Visit our events page to find a Storytime near you! Contact your preferred branch to see what activities are offered.

Kids Club:

February Kids Club programs will explore several Black History themes through library resources and hands-on activities.

  • Ablaze with Color: Black women have long made and continue to create far-reaching impacts on community and culture not only through their art but through their actions and voice. Celebrate the art and lives of these foundational artists by creating your own art in the abstract style of Alma Thomas, just one of the artists kids will learn about.
  • Anansi’s Kente Cloth: Kids will learn about traditional Ghanaian cloth and motifs through weaving and loom making. African American history goes beyond American history and has roots in many cultures and communities in Africa. Talking about and celebrating cultures and countries in Africa can help us better understand African American history.
  • Pittsburgh Freedom House: Learn about and celebrate the first community based medical service that today’s Emergency Medical Response Service (EMS) is based on. This group of trained paramedics, predominantly made up of Black men, was based in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. Kids will make connections to our city’s Black history and make their own stethoscopes to listen to heart beats, just like the Freedom House Ambulance Crew members.
  • Bottle Tops-The Art of El Anatsui: Kids will explore the work of African artist, El Anatsui by making their own metal sculpture art, reflective of El Anatsui’s style. Anatsui’s work often includes indigenous Adinkra symbols and other motifs from his native Ghana. When we explore the culture and history of Black people in other countries, especially one of the 54 countries in Africa, we start to see the global nature of Black history.
  • Bold Words from Black Women: Kids will connect social emotional learning to iconic Black women and create their own tissue paper stained glass portraits of changemakers inspired by the book Bold Words from Black Women by Dr. Tamara Pizzoli.
  • We Can-Portraits of Power: Celebrate young Black artist, Tyler Gordon, by creating portraits of Black icons in Tyler’s unique style. Tyler Gordon’s journey as an artist began with a school project and now, he is an award-winning artist.

Visit our events page to find a Kids Club near you! Contact your preferred branch to see what activities are offered.

Teen Time:

February Teen Time programs will explore several Black History themes through the use of historic photos and videos, and hands-on activities.

  • Civil Rights & Contemporary Poster Art: Teens will learn about Black artists and create letterpress, collage-style posters in this program that brings art and history together through the exploration of civil rights freedom movement and contemporary movement posters with a focus on Black Lives.
  • Civil Rights Movement Photo Exploration: Explore historical photos from the Civil Rights era using print and online resources to learn about the enormity of the movement. Teens will have a chance to learn to use an online photo editor to bring images together.
  • The Birth of Hip-Hop: In this celebration of hip-hop culture, teens will learn about the birth of hip hop via the Black History in Two Minutes series, hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and learn to use an online photo editor to create hip-hop-inspired images.

Visit our events page to find a Teen Time near you! Contact your preferred branch to see what activities are offered.

Teenspace Activities:

Throughout February, you may also be able to find one or more self-directed activities in your branch’s Teenspace.

  • Paint in the Style of a Black Artist: Printouts of multiple artists’ works and paint supplies will be available for you to try your hand at their style.
  • 125th Anniversary Library Card Artwork: Celebrate and share the work of local artists Takara Canty, Cue Perry, D.S. Kinsel and Janel Young by sending a note to someone you know on a postcard or greeting card featuring their artwork.
  • Brave. Black. First. Puzzle: A Jigsaw Puzzle Celebrating African American Women Who Changed the World (based on the book Brave, Black, First: 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World)

Community Resources

Coming soon!


 

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